Nothing But the Blood

Assurance_hashtagToday, our pastor begins a new sermon series titled Assurance: The Genuine Article.  Today’s sermon is titled “Genuine Baptism.”  While songs that focus specifically on baptism are few, I do think the gospel hymn “Nothing But the Blood” might help us draw a correlation between the symbolic washing of water with the scriptural teaching that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus.  The first line of the hymn takes us to that quickly – “What can wash away my sin, nothing but the blood of Jesus.”

The hymn was written by Robert Lowry, a Baptist minister who served churches in Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey in the second half of the 19th century.  He is the author and composer of many hymns, and his work was included in many of the Sunday School hymn books of that period.  A few of his hymns are still sung widely today – “Low in the Grave He Lay” and “Shall We Gather at the River”, a hymn written to comfort those affected by the epidemic of 1864 in New York City.

“Nothing But the Blood,” written by Lowry in 1877, was originally known as “What Can Wash Away My Stain.”  While we sing 4 verses today, the hymn originally had 6.

In the first 2 verses, we see that it is the shed blood of Jesus that pardons us and makes us clean.  In essence, new creations.  In verse 3, the focus is on the work of Christ for our salvation – it is not by any good work, but only by the cross that our sins are atoned for.  Verses 4 and 5 lead us to profess the comfort of knowing the blood of Jesus is our only hope.  And, finally, verse 6 is a declaration of praise for our salvation.

What can wash away my sin?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
What can make me whole again?
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Refrain:
Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

For my pardon, this I see,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
For my cleansing this my plea,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Nothing can for sin atone,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Naught of good that I have done,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

This is all my hope and peace,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
This is all my righteousness,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Now by this I’ll overcome—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus;
Now by this I’ll reach my home—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

Glory! Glory! This I sing—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus,
All my praise for this I bring—
Nothing but the blood of Jesus.

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Music, Worship

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s